GE2020: Voters face 'longer than usual' queues at polling stations, younger people advised to stick to time bands

GE2020: Voters face 'longer than usual' queues at polling stations, younger people advised to stick to time bands

GE2020 Queue, Bukit Merah Secondary School, Jul 10, 2020 (2)
Voters forming a queue to enter the polling station at Bukit Merah Secondary School on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Ruth Smalley)

SINGAPORE: Voters are facing “longer than usual queues” at some polling stations this morning, the Elections Department (ELD) said, as long lines were seen at several polling centres across Singapore on Friday (Jul 10).

“This is partly due to the additional safety measures put in place to ensure safe voting,” said ELD in response to CNA’s queries. 

The voting time-bands between 8am and 12pm are reserved for senior voters aged 65 years and above to “minimise their interaction with younger voters”, ELD said. 


It urged younger voters who are not accompanying any seniors to keep to their assigned voting time-bands after noon. 

“We strongly encourage voters to check the queue situation at their assigned polling stations (http://VoteQ.gowhere.gov.sg) before setting off to vote.”

As of 12pm, 840,000 voters - 31 per cent of registered voters - have cast their votes at local polling stations, said ELD in an update at around 1pm.

In an earlier update it said that queues had "started to come down" as of 11am. 

GE2020 Polling Station, Hougang Community Hall, Jul 10, 2020 (5)
Queues formed at the Hougang Community Hall polling station on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

Long, snaking queues were seen at Hougang Community Club earlier on Friday as voters arrived to cast their votes.

Election officials were seen trying to manage the crowd as elderly voters turned up in droves.

 

GE2020 Polling Station, Hougang Community Hall, Jul 10, 2020 (2)
Elderly voters seen queuing up to enter the polling station at Hougang Community Hall on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Gaya Chandramohan)

An elderly man who had just arrived at the polling station was overheard saying: “Wow, need to wait so long. I didn’t expect such a long queue.”

Some voters opted to sit as they waited their turn to be registered.

Over at Block 56 Pipit Road, voters queued in a long but fast-moving line.

GE2020, Voters at Block 56 Pipit Road, Jul 10, 2020 (1)
Voters seen queueing at Block 56 Pipit Road on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

GE2020, queues at Bukit Merah Secondary School, Jul 10, 2020 (2)
Benches were set up for elderly residents who had to queue to get into the polling station at Bukit Merah Secondary School on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Sim Yee Lim)

By 10.15am, a queue had also formed outside Bukit Merah Secondary School.

Mainly elderly voters, some of whom had issues with standing for long periods, were given chairs to sit on. 

“Last time we voted it wasn’t like this,” said 74-year-old Mr Tan, who was waiting in line. “Now we’ve got to wait so long.” 

GE2020, queues at Bukit Merah Secondary School, Jul 10, 2020
Temperature checks done on voters outside Bukit Merah Secondary School on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Lim Sim Yee)

Mr Daniel Ng, 31, was also in the mix accompanying his mother - who has mobility issues - to the polling station. 

While his mother was moved to the front of the queue to wait on a chair, Mr Ng said that he expected the waiting time to be long.

“Even if I check the site (https://voteq.gowhere.gov.sg/), it might not be 100 per cent (accurate). They already allocated a timing, there will be a long queue no matter what, it’s just how long the queue is," he said.

GE2020, queues at Teck Ghee Primary School, Jul 10, 2020
Voters seen queueing at Teck Ghee Primary School on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

GE2020, queues at Ang Mo Kio Street 32, Jul 10, 2020 (2)
Voters seen queueing at Ang Mo Kio Street 32 on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

Over in Serangoon, two holding areas had been set up at blocks near 303 Serangoon Avenue 2 by 10.50am due to the large number of voters in line. 

The line at the adjacent blocks inched slowly along as election officials allowed small groups of voters their turns to join the queue at the polling station. 

GE2020, queues at Ang Mo Kio Street 32, Jul 10, 2020 (4)
Queues to enter the voting station at Ang Mo Kio Street 32 seen from across the road on Jul 10, 2020. (Photo: Try Sutrisno Foo)

A long line was also seen for Teck Ghee Primary School at about 11.15am, with the queue stretching across multiple blocks.

Earlier on, a woman was seen distributing bottled water to elderly people in the queue.

The woman, who did not want to be named, told CNA that she had accompanied her mother to vote earlier in the day.

"I came earlier to vote with my mother and she almost fainted while waiting. So I can really feel for the old folks who are in the queue now," she said.

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Source: CNA/aa(nc)

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